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Project of the Year, 2015: Barzan Gas Project (RasGas)

This award recognises a project, brought onstream within the judging period, which has particular merit, will have an impact on the industry, involved specific expertise or sets a new standard in its sector.

Judges sought evidence of excellence and ingenuity; sustainability and careful consideration of environmental issues; a best-practice approach to health and safety; and meeting budget and time constraints.

The $10 billion-plus Barzan Gas Project executed and operated by RasGas is one of the most technically complex projects ever undertaken in Qatar, involving a host of innovative technologies and processes.

Construction of the project, which includes both offshore and onshore facilities, started in 2011. Offshore facilities include three offshore wellhead platforms, subsea pipelines and cables. The onshore facilities comprise a gas processing unit, a sulphur recovery unit to remove impurities from the natural gas, and a natural gas liquids (NGL) recovery unit, which will produce methane, ethane, propane, butane and condensate. Ethane produced from the plant will be used as a feedstock for the growing Qatari petrochemical industry.

Once completed, the two processing trains will produce around 1.4 billion f3/day of sales gas, which, when combined with RasGas' other facilities production will make the company one of the largest single gas processors in the world, with a production capacity of 11 f3/d. In addition to sales gas, Barzan will produce about 22,000 b/d of field condensate, 6,000 b/d of plant condensate, 34,000 b/d of ethane, 10,500 b/d of propane and 7,500 b/d of butane.

Proprietary technology was used at Barzan to recover NGL and remove nitrogen from the sales gas stream to achieve the required specifications. The use of an integrated NGL recovery and nitrogen rejection unit (NGL/NRU) in the project was the first application of this technology in Qatar. There were several other technologies used by RasGas for the first time, including Aker Process Solutions technology for the regeneration of Mono-ethylene Glycol (MEG) to the offshore platforms – injection of MEG at the wellhead platforms prevents hydrate formation in the offshore pipelines.

The integrated NGL/NRU used is Chart Energy and Chemical’s largest process unit of this kind. The process, not used by RasGas before, is designed to achieve 95% ethane recovery, while rejecting nitrogen and producing a raw helium stream.

The project was required to meet rigorous environmental standards. For example, the onshore plant was designed to achieve 99.4% sulphur recovery, while enhanced burner technologies provide very low nitrogen oxide emissions. Additionally, the plant uses a closed-loop seawater cooling system that minimises the use of water and reuses plant water wherever possible. Efforts to preserve and protect the corals living along the project’s 180km pipeline route included the relocation of 1,600 corals prior to pipeline construction, a process that took three months.

Barzan also achieved outstanding safety figures for a project that has so far has notched up 243 million work hours across its life. The total recordable injury rate (TRIR) per 200,000 work hours currently stands at 0.17, which is almost half the industry average.

A project of immense scope has been planned, managed and carried out to a very high standard.


Fellow nominees:

Engie (Cygnus)



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